Fashion forms part of a society’s rich tapestry and can stimulate awareness of how marginalized and racialized communities understand themselves and their place in the world. Fashion and Justice is a one-day workshop curated by Kim Jenkins and Jonathan Square that examines the role of fashion in contending with and challenging inequality through sartorial ingenuity. The workshop includes analysis of artistic work and projects, partial film screenings, review of related literature, conversations with guest speakers, and a look at how contemporary designers, artists, journalists, curators, photographers, and academics explore fashion’s role with a critical lens. Read an interview with Jenkins and Square in NYLON magazine.

Meet the Workshop Curators
Kim Jenkins is an educator, researcher, and brand consultant who specializes in the socio-cultural and historical influences behind why we wear what we wear, specifically addressing how politics, psychology, race, and gender shape the way we ‘fashion’ our identity. She is a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute and a part-time lecturer at Parsons where she created the undergraduate course “Fashion and Race,” examining the implications of the social construct of race in fashion history, business, and image-making; she is currently teaching the course “Fashion and Justice.” Professor Jenkins curated her first exhibition, Fashion and Race: Deconstructing Ideas, Reconstructing Identities (2018) in the Aronson Gallery at Parsons, and she is the founding editor of The Fashion and Race Database. Her expertise has been called upon by numerous publications, including Refinery29, New York Magazine, and ELLE Canada. Her academic work has been published in QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, International Journal of Fashion Studies, Art Jewelry Forum, and the Fashion Studies Journal. Her work as an educator has been profiled and mentioned by NYLON, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Saturday Paper Refinery29, and Fashionista, among others.

Jonathan Square, PhD, is a writer and professor of history at Harvard University, specializing in fashion and visual culture in the African diaspora. He received a PhD in history from New York University, a master’s degree from University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.

Meet the Guest Speaker
Julin Everett, PhD, is the author of Le Queer Impérial: Male Homoerotic Desire in Francophone Colonial and Postcolonial Literature (Rodopi/Brill, 2018) which considers how interracial homoerotic desire and domination underpin colonial relations. She was the researcher and co-curator for Scene/Unseen (2017) a photographic installation on self-representation within persecuted communities. Dr. Everett is an Assistant Professor of French at Scripps College.

Workshop Schedule

9 am

9:30 am
Welcome and Introduction
Kristen Owens, Kimberly Jenkins, Jonathan M. Square

10 am
Why Race and Representation Matters in Contemporary Fashion
Kimberly Jenkins

11 am
Critical Ways of Seeing
Activity led by Kimberly Jenkins

12:30 pm

1:30 pm
Lecture by Dr. Julin Everett
With Q&A moderated by Jonathan M. Square and Kimberly Jenkins

2:30 pm
Coffee Break

2:45 pm
Fashion in the Family Archive

3:45 pm
Fashioning the Self in Slavery and Freedom
Jonathan M. Square

5 pm

We are also pleased to extend complimentary need-based community tickets by request to all ticketed events. To learn more, please email [email protected].

Leading support for Public Programs at Bard Graduate Center comes from Gregory Soros and other generous donors.